George Jones' spirited reading of J.P. Richardson (aka the Big Bopper)'s "White Lightning" was his first country #1. The song was recorded only one week after Jones' good friend Richardson's tragic death in the airplane crash that also killed Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens.
Produced by Buddy Killen, thanks to Jones drinking, it took over 80 takes to get the recording right. The country star recalled in his 1997 memoir, I Lived to Tell It All: "I was drinking heavily throughout the session, and Killen later said we did 83 takes before we got one we could use," Jones wrote.
"Killen said he wore the skin off his fingers playing that same opening, and had to wear Band-Aids to cover raw blisters. Years later he said he could still remember the pain from playing that kick-off over and over the stiff, woven-wire strings of an upright bass."
This charming story of country folk cooking up near-lethal spirit was George Jones' theme tune.
Michael Jackson's "Liberian Girl" opens with the South African female singer Letta Mbulu saying the Swahili phrase "Naku penda piya-naku taka piya-mpenziwe." There was some geographic liberty here, as Swahili is not spoken in the West African nation of Liberia.
The Naughty by Nature hit "O.P.P." doesn't have any curse words, but many oversensitive radio stations played a "clean" version with the word "kitten" edited out, surely the first time that word was censured.
Who writes a song about a name they found in a phone book? That's just one of the everyday things these guys find to sing about. Anything in their field of vision or general scope of knowledge is fair game. If you cross paths with them, so are you.